Manny Machado hits eighth career grand slam as Orioles down Rays
Baltimore’s Manny Machado has three home runs in his last two games, 12 for the season. AP

BALTIMORE — When the Baltimore Orioles were losing on a regular basis, Manny Machado was one of the few positive constants.

Now, finally, his prolific bat is contributing to victories.

Machado hit two home runs, including his eighth career grand slam, and the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-4, on Friday night (Saturday, Manila time) for their season-high third straight victory.

Machado ripped a two-run shot in the first inning and made it 8-1 in the seventh with a drive off Ryne Stanek. Machado has three home runs in his last two games, 12 for the season and 150 over his seven-year career.

"Really, from spring training on, he's looked locked-in from the get-go," winning pitcher Kevin Gausman said. "Every day, he does something that just kind of impresses you even more."

Mark Trumbo and rookie Chance Sisco also homered for the Orioles. After a dismal start to the season, Baltimore (11-27) is riding its longest winning streak since a six-game run last August.

The Orioles are still in last place, but don't blame Machado, who leads the team in homers, batting average (.354) and RBIs (35). At 25, he's the youngest player in franchise history to reach the 150-homer mark.

"I'm beyond grateful," Machado said. "Words can't even describe how exciting that it is, reaching that milestone. Doing it with this organization, I couldn't be any happier."

Gausman (3-2) gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings. He yielded 11 hits but didn't issue a walk, struck out six and repeatedly came up with the right pitch when the Rays threatened to score.

"They definitely didn't make it easy on me," the right-hander said. "I had guys on base every inning."

Brad Brach got four outs for his fifth save.

Carlos Gomez had two hits and two RBIs for the Rays, who have lost four straight and six of eight. Tampa Bay went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.

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"We're getting our hits. We're just not capitalizing," manager Kevin Cash said.

Jake Faria (3-2) allowed seven runs in six-plus innings. He was pulled with the bases loaded in the seventh, and all three runners subsequently scored ahead of Machado.

"He did everything he needed to — just that last inning," Cash said.

Said Faria: "Being able to execute late in the game when it counts the most, that's what makes guys big league pitchers. It's just not getting the job done."

Outscored 54-14 in the first inning through 37 games, the Orioles reversed the trend when Machado homered following a single by Adam Jones for a 2-0 lead.

Trumbo hit his first home run of the season to spark Baltimore's five-run seventh, and Sisco connected in the eighth after Tampa Bay closed to 8-4.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: SS Adeiny Hechavarria returned to the starting lineup after missing a game with a left eye contusion. ... OF Kevin Kiermaier, on the 60-day DL with a torn thumb ligament, alleviated the tedium of inactivity by joining his teammates in the clubhouse.

Orioles: Struggling RHP Chris Tillman (1-5, 10.46 ERA) was placed on the DL with a lower back strain. ... DH Pedro Alvarez was held out of the lineup with a hamstring cramp, an injury that initially occurred Thursday night. ... 3B Jace Peterson started despite rolling his ankle rounding first base Thursday night.

PITCHING HELP

The Orioles intend to add a relief pitcher as their 26th man for Saturday's doubleheader, manager Buck Showalter said. The Rays will add LHP Anthony Banda, one of four prospects obtained from Arizona in the trade for Steven Souza Jr.

GET OUTTA TOWN

Former Rays star Evan Longoria made news recently by saying the Rays should move from St. Petersburg to boost attendance.

Tampa Bay pitcher Chris Archer weighed in on Friday with this comment: "The track record says it's tough for us to draw fans. I don't know where the move should be, but I think maybe a change is necessary."

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UP NEXT

Rays: Chris Archer (2-2, 5.32 ERA) will start the opener of Saturday's single-admission doubleheader. Matt Andriese (0-1, 3.92 in 11 games) will make his second start of the season in Game 2.

Orioles: RHP David Hess (2-0, 2.12 at Triple-A Norfolk) will make his major league debut in Game 1. Former Rays ace Alex Cobb (0-4, 7.61) tries to right his rocky debut season with Baltimore in the second game.

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